2nd Monday of Great Lent Devotional


8 Come near to God and He will come near to you.

We have reached the 2nd week of the Great and Holy Lent and some of us are already weakened. Some may have given up and thrown in the towel, others may have kept strong in the face of defeat. Whatever the situation may be, we are getting closer to the Lord’s passion.

On this particular day, we are given the reading of St. James 4:7 – 5:6. I’d like to highlight 2 key parts from this passage as they are quite beautiful in the grand theme of lent, repentance. In the 2nd week of Great Lent, the key focus is restoration. Restoration of the soul, of the heart, and of the mind. Though this lent is meant for discipline, focus and repentance, we should also give importance restoration of our spiritual lives.

In this portion we are told, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” How many of us go to God just as a friend? How many of us go to Him without asking for something? In our daily lives when we pray, most of us are asking Him for help, asking Him for strength, asking Him for guidance; we are always asking Him. Take a step back, end our requests to Him, and rather talk with God. That is essentially what prayer is, talking with God. But we have made prayer into an institution to which we ask for help. Though it is right to ask God for help, we should always make room to just talk with God.

The purpose of this lent is to discipline our lives to live without luxuries, live without worldly pleasures. But with that loss, we should be gaining our spiritual lives back, we should be gaining God. In our day to day lives, we build a bond with the world, a bond without God. We make desires of the flesh and desires of world our friends and forget God. Our purpose this lent should be to build a bond with God, a friendship with God. He was there when we were born, He has seen our every flaw and still loved us, and He has gotten us through the toughest of trials without a scratch. How we can go on living our lives without recognizing we have an amazing friend like this in our lives?

In Isaiah 49: 15-16 it is written:

“I will not forget you. I have written your name on the palms of my hands.”

How amazing is it to think that God has known us from the beginning and He alone knows our end? He has written our name on His palms before we were even born. He has accounted for the faults we will have, the trials we will go through, our triumphs, our failures, our life. How can we pass up not having a friendship with the one person who will never leave?

After the Holocaust, when the press went in to go see the holding cells and prisons of the Jewish population, they found the following writing on one of the walls:

“I believe in the sun, even when it’s not shining I believe in love, even when I’m alone. I believe in God, even when He is silent.”

Many of our friends are actual, physical people. We can touch them, hear them, see them. Just because we can’t see Him, hear Him, or touch Him, we must believe. Believe that He is and always will be our dearest and closest friend. When we are brought to our knees, God will be there to comfort us. No earthly possessions, no mortal man, no pleasures can comfort us the way Christ can. When we hear nothing from Him during our troubles, know He does not want us to suffer. God never gives us anything in our lives we cannot overcome. He may be silent but He will never forget us.

I’d like to conclude with this passage from Jeremiah 29: 11-12:

‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.’

Jesus Christ gave His life so that we too may be inheritors in the Kingdom of Heaven. His sacrificial love is what set us free from Satan. We must trust that whatever trouble, whatever situation, whatever turmoil we go through in life, Christ is our friend and He will not abandon us. The passage above states “..pray, I will listen.” As we continue in this Lenten season towards the Cross, towards repentance, we must turn lose our worldly passions and gain friendship. We must gain a friend to whom we can talk to. We must gain Christ. We must pray, and He will listen.

Prayer

Guide us O Lord, in our spiritual walk to Your Cross. Show us Your friendship Lord. You have seen us before we were even made, You have accounted for our every moment in life. Help us to lead our lives in the way of Your liking. May we continue to grow in Your love and friendship. Amen.

By Renju Padiyara

Tags: MGOCSM


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